Bloating More Common Among Women Than Men: WHY? Bloating could be a symptom of a serious condition. Read on to know the causes of bloating and how to treat it.

Do you often feel bloated? If you’re an American, bloating is a common issue among the population. Else your gender may be blamed causing you to feel bloated frequently. Compared to men, women are more likely to experience bloating, say experts.

According to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, nearly 1 in 7 Americans experience bloating on a weekly basis, but most don’t seek medical help.

Why do you feel bloated? Bloating may occur when your gastrointestinal tract fills with air or gas, making you feel swollen or tight in the abdomen, said Cedars-Sinai investigators who led the study. It can be due to your diet or an underlying condition.

Do not ignore bloating, it could be a symptom of a serious condition. The study led by Cedars-Sinai investigators highlighted that bloating is common among people with medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis, and carbohydrate enzyme deficiency.

Most Americans don’t seek care for bloating

Although bloating is a common symptom among Americans, many of them do not take this symptom seriously or discuss it with their doctors.

For this study, the researchers surveyed nearly 90,000 people in the U.S from May through June 2020. Nearly 88,000 people completed the survey, out of which 13.9 per cent reported feeling bloating in the past seven days. About 58.5 per cent of the participants who reported experiencing bloating said they have never sought care for their symptoms.

Why don’t people usually seek care for bloating? Below are some of the reasons the study participants gave for not seeking care for bloating:

  • Because bloating resolved on its own
  • The symptom wasn’t bothersome
  • Bloating can be managed with over-the-counter medications or lifestyle changes
  • No health insurance
  • No time to go to the doctor
  • Do not feel comfortable discussing bloating with a doctor.

Why women experience bloating more than men?

The study by Cedars-Sinai investigators also found that women were more than twice as likely as men to report bloating. Various hypotheses have been proposed for why bloating is common in women, referring to hormonal, metabolic, psychosocial, lifestyle and dietary differences between men and women.

Latinos and people aged below 60 years were also more likely to report feeling bloated within the past seven days. The symptom was also common people with irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, or ulcerative colitis. Those with related gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and excess gas, were reported feeling bloated more often.

How bloating can be treated?

Janice Oh, first author of the study, noted that bloating can be managed effectively with various medications, such as gut-directed antibiotics or treatments that affect serotonin levels in the gut.

Lifestyle changes, including exercise, and dietary changes may also help. However, she advises discussing with a healthcare provider first to identify what might be causing your bloated.

Furthe, the researchers stressed the need for more studies to investigate the causes of bloating and how to best treat it.

Also read | Menstrual Cups Or Tampons? Which One Must You Pick For Your Next Periods

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